I think David Axelrod was spot when he said that the Republican Establishment is not really upset with what Todd Akin said. They are upset with Todd Akin for letting the proverbial “cat out of the bag”.
The GOP did not want to “broadcast” their true views during election season for fear of backlash from women and independents.
The Republican Party turned on Todd Akin because he made plain their creeping extremism and political strategy
When Missouri’s Republican candidate for the Senate said that “legitimate rape” rarely causes pregnancy, not only was Todd Akin echoing the extreme anti-abortion positions held by many in his party, he was exemplifying the creeping extremism within the Republican Party on women’s issues and far more. In the new, extremist Republican Party, Akin is not an aberration. He is merely the latest canary in a coalmine of crazy.
Along with Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, Akin was an original co-sponsor of the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” — which, originally, narrowed the federal definition of rape to restrict the ability of women and girls to use Medicaid dollars and tax-exempt health spending accounts to terminate pregnancies resulting from rape. Akin has since said he “misspoke” in his “legitimate rape” remarks, but the legislation he and Paul Ryan sponsored similarly re-labeled rape as “forcible rape” — creepily suggesting there are other, more acceptable versions. What’s more creepy? These are not fringe opinions expressed by powerless lunatics at teeny right-wing organizations. These are the opinions of over 200 Republican members of Congress, one of whom is the party’s candidate for the United States Senate in Missouri and one of whom is the party’s candidate for Vice President.
Yes, the Republican establishment is condemning Akin’s remarks and distancing itself from his candidacy. But let’s be clear: Akin is only guilty of saying out loud what many Republican leaders think and legislate on the basis of. Talking Points Memo has detailed other Republican leaders throughout the years who have questioned that rape can lead to pregnancy and prominent Republican leaders like Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal oppose abortions under all circumstances, including rape. Both will be speaking at the Republican National Convention next week. Moreover, the many Republicans pushing back against Akin seem more concerned with preserving the dignity of the Republican Party than protecting the dignity and rights of women who have been raped.
- Todd Akin’s “Legitimate Rape” Comment Becoming Poison For the Whole GOP (elections.firedoglake.com)
- Huckabee: Rapes Create Some Amazing People (newser.com)
- President Obama Weighs In On Todd Akin Comment: “Rape Is Rape” (newstalkcleveland.com)
- Rumor: Todd ‘Legitimate Rape’ Akin Might Withdraw From Senate Race After Republicans Feign Outrage [Todd Akin] (jezebel.com)
- Bryan Fischer: Todd Akin right about ‘real, genuine rape’ (rawstory.com)
- Rep. Speier: Akin’s rape views ‘consistent’ with ‘vast majority of Republicans’ (rawstory.com)
- The larger significance of Todd Akin’s ridiculousness (maddowblog.msnbc.com)
- Connie Mack links Akin’s ‘legitimate rape’ with Biden’s ‘chains.’ What about ‘forcible rape?’ (miamiherald.typepad.com)